Cow facts and fallacies – standing, laying down, walking

Here are some facts and fallacies about the cow – standing, laying down, and walking.  

Standing: A cow sleeps while standing up.

A cow often closes its eyes to rest while standing up, but it sleeps laying down on its side or on its stomach. A cow is a domestic animal, not a wild animal, and it does not need to quickly escape its predators. It dozes several times throughout the day for 7-14 hours, but The Cattle Site says it actually sleeps for only about 3 hours per day, but not all at once. 

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Which animal was domesticated first – the cat or the dog?

Which animal was domesticated first – the cat or the dog?

Domesticated animals are those that have been tamed and bred by humans. Humans began keeping animals as companion pets (such as cats and dogs), work animals (such as horses, donkeys, and camels to carry things), and livestock (such as cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats for food and skin, fur, or wool). 

It is not easy to tell exactly when different species of animals were domesticated. Domestication occurred gradually, so there is no exact moment in history.

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How has a Yak adapted in high altitudes?

How has a Yak adapted in high altitudes?

A Yak is a hairy bovine, like domestic cattle and the Bison. The Wild Yak (Bos mutus) lives in mountainous regions of the Himalayas, Mongolia, and Russia. For example, the Himalayan mountains are 4,000-6,000 metres (13,000-19,000 feet) tall.

Its shaggy hair keeps it warm in the cold mountains. Its hair is thicker and longer than the hair of domestic cattle. However, it is also adapted to the high altitudes in other ways.

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European Bison

The European Bison (Bison bonasus) is an artiodactyl ungulate (split, cloven hoofed) mammal in the bovine (cattle) family. It is a bisonid. It is also known as the Wisent and the European Wood Bison. 

The European Bison has a stocky body with a massive head. It is broad and muscular. It has a shaggy dark-brown coat of fur. Both the male and female have horns that point forward, with a blunted, rounded tip. 

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Lowland Anoa

The Lowland Anoa (Bubalus depressicornis) is an endangered ungulate (hoofed) bovid species of wild cattle in the water buffalo family. It is also known as the Midget Buffalo. Another species of the Midget Buffalo is the Mountain Anoa (Bubalus quarlesi). It is related to the Asian Water Buffalo. 

The Lowland Anoa is similar in appearance to a miniature Asian Water Buffalo. It has a strong body with brown-black fur. The male is darker in colour than the female. It has short upright horns. The female has shorter horns than the male.

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The Gaur (Bos gaurus) is a large bovine ungulate (hoofed) mammal. It is also known as the Indian Bison.  

The Gaur is a species of wild cattle with short, narrow, pointed, black-tipped horns and a prominent ridge on its back. It has large ears. It has short, glossy, dark-brown fur, which becomes almost black as it ages. Its head is often ashy-grey and its nose is whitish. It does not have a distinct dewlap (loose skin under its chin) like other bovines have. The female is lighter brown with thinner horns. 

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Brahman Cattle

Brahman Cattle (Bos indicus) are a medium-sized breed of Zebu cattle. They are ungulate (hoofed) bovine mammals. For domestic use, they are livestock for dairy products, such as milk, cream, cheese and butter. They are also called Humped Cattle.

The Brahman is a distinctive-looking cattle breed with large upward-curved horns. It has a large hump over its shoulder and neck, very large ears, and loose skin (called dewlap) around its throat and underbelly. It is varied in colour, from light grey to sandy-coloured or creamy-white. Its short fur is thicker in winter.

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Ankole-Watusi Cattle

The Ankole-Watusi (hybrid of Bos primigenius taurus and Bos primigenius indicus) is a medium-sized breed of domestic cattle from the Ankole group of Sanga cattle of central Africa. It originated from the Egyptian Longhorn Cattle and the Indian Zebu Longhorn Cattle. It is also known as the African Longhorn. 

The Ankole-Watusi Cattle have very large horns, of about 92 centimetres (37 inches) long. The circumference of the horns is the largest in the world, at about 100 centimetres (39 inches). The horns are part of adaptation to a hot climate by allowing dispersal of excess body heat.

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Cow and Yak: what’s the difference?

What’s the difference between a cow and a yak?

The domestic Yak (Bos grunniens) is similar to domestic cattle, such as cows and bulls (Bos taurus or Bos primegenius).

They are both bovids or bovines.

They are both mammals with udders (that provide milk for their calves).

They both eat grass – they are herbivorous grazers.

They are both ungulates – they both have cloven hooves.

The domestic Yak grunts, whereas domestic cattle moo.

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The Domestic Yak (Bos grunniens) and the Wild Yak (Bos mutus) are large, long-haired, ungulate mammals in the Bovidae family of bovines, similar to cattle and bison. It is a bovid. The species, Bos grunniens, means grunting ox, and the species, Bos mutus, means mute (silent) ox. The Yak, like a cow, is an ungulate because it has cloven hooves.

The Wild Yak is black or dark brown, whereas the Domestic Yak can be rust-brown, grey, and cream. The Yak has small ears and a wide forehead, with smooth dark-coloured horns. It has a short neck with humped shoulders. The male, called a bull, has horns that extend from the sides of its head and curve forward. The female, called a cow, has smaller horns that are more upright. The tail is long and looks like a horse’s tail (long and hairy) instead of a cow’s tail (with a tuft of hair at the end).

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Cattle Egret

The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a type of heron, rather than a true egret in the genus Egretta. It is native to Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is related to ibis. The term bubulcus means herdsmen (cattle men).

It is a white bird with orange-buff feathers and red legs and beak when it is breeding. When it is not breeding it is white with a yellow beak and grey legs. It is stocky with a short neck, so that it looks hunched. It has a height of 46-56 centimetres (18-22 inches) and a wingspan of 88-96 centimetres (35-38 inches).

It likes to be near cattle and other large mammals, such as buffalo, to catch insects that live near the cattle. The cattle egret removes ticks and fleas from cattle.

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